Test startup decloaks with “virtual probe” for SiPs

July 16, 2007 – Scanimetrics Inc. has debuted at SEMICON West with its first product targeting the test sector: a noncontact “virtual probe” technology for system-in-package testing during assembly that it claims can cut manufacturing costs in half.

The Wi-TAP (wireless test access port) helps SiP chipmakers test and identify defective devices from the beginning of the assembly process, giving them a practical way to test for faulty devices before the multichip SiP package has been made, according to the company. That speeds up the ability to bring to market consumer handheld SiP devices that incorporate more functionality — e.g. cell phone and digital camera capabilities, plus Internet access, and GPS, noted Steven Slupsky, president and CEO of Scanimetrics, in a statement.

Embedding RF transceivers into the circuit to be tested, and a complimentary set of transceivers in the “virtual probe card,” lets Wi-TAP execute proximity testing of SiP devices across the gap between the probe card and the device under test, so companies can test from the onset of SiP assembly and after each new chip is added, the company explained (power is provided by a pair of traditional probe needles). If a bad die is found or a assembly defect detected, the SiP package ca be reworked or eliminated before assembly is completed, saving chip costs and manufacturing time.

The company isn’t yet ready to reveal its productization or customer plans, but claims it is working with “several major manufacturers” to incorporate its Wi-TAP technology into next-generation SiP products, and is working with them “as implementation partners” to develop other products for “specific semiconductor market sectors where we see strong opportunities,” Slupsky added.


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